Tory lead falls to seven in new ICM poll

Poll suggests an increasing number of voters would like to see a hung parliament.

Britain remains on course for a hung parliament at the next election, according to a new opinion poll which shows the Conservatives' lead over Labour falling to seven points.

The ICM survey for the Sunday Telegraph put the Tories down two points to 38 per cent, with Labour unchanged on 31 per cent and the Liberal Democrats up three points to 21 per cent. If repeated at a general election on a uniform swing, the latest figures would produce a hung parliament with David Cameron 34 seats short of a majority. The Tory lead is now at its lowest in an ICM poll for two years.

An increasing number of voters, 34 per cent in the latest poll, believe that Britain's interest would "best be served" by a hung parliament after the election. But more than half, 56 per cent, still want one party to win a clear majority.

In better news for the Tories, the poll found that Cameron is still more trusted than Gordon Brown to deliver on the NHS (by two per cent), schools (by seven per cent) and the economy (by three per cent).

Meanwhile, the latest daily Sun/YouGov poll put the Tories just four points ahead of Labour, a result that would leave Brown 24 seats short of a majority in a hung parliament.